Looking back to childhood and teenagerdom, there are ordinary meals that shout out to be remembered; those I remember with no pomp and glory; oh yes, countless glorious roast dinners and fruit pies and crumbles, but the ones to which I refer are every day foods that were eaten often and enjoyed a great deal.
The cheese flan at primary school, orangey-yellow, with so much cadmium oiliness that if you pressed your knife into the top, a shallow tide would envelop the steel surface.
Lentils and rice. The boys said they now hate lentils and rice because it used to make them feel like we were ‘poor people’, but I love daal and eat it often and in accompaniment with curry.
Chicken and almond sauce. Alas, the almond sauce recipe now lost in memoriam, but soon to be resurrected (watch this space).
Welsh Rarebit; bread toasted on one side… the other clothed thickly in grated cheese mixed with beaten egg. Nice with the modern twist of wholegrain mustard swirled within, but the old version was lovely.
Haggis, black pudding and brawn. Offal? Moi? HELL YEAH!
And mum’s cheese pudding. Simple as ever, easy to adulterate with leeks or chilli but wonderful just as is. Best with beans for understated comfort glory, but more grown up with a green salad and spinach.
Baking Dish / Casserole Dish. Something deep enough and not too big.
Large chunk of bread/3-4 slices of plastic bread (one of the only recipes where plastic bread sludge doesn’t matter) and turn it into breadcrumbs. You want enough to make breadcrumbs that fill the baking dish you’re using.
If you’re using plastic bread, toast first, make breadcrumbs later.
Medium-sized chunk of cheese. Has to be cheddar, really, although any hardish melty cheese will work.
2 or 3 eggs, beaten with about 300ml milk
Turn out the breadcrumbs into a large bowl, add a couple of pinches of salt, mix in the grated cheese and the beaten egg and milk and squill it together with your fingers until it is a stiffish dough.
Grease the casserole dish (oil is easiest, butter is best) and turn out the dough in a big lump. Press it to cover the dish, leaving the surface nice and bumpy.
Pop into a 180 deg C preheated oven for about 30 mins until the top is nice and browned.
The picture looks ridiculous, but honestly, I just wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of the full browned glory that was.
This is all that was left (also goes well with ketchup).